|AMAZON | KINDLE|
Heroine: Laura Nilsson – Journalist, Compassionate
Hero: Javier Corbray – Navy SEAL, Protector
I recommend reading First Strike, the erotica novella prequel, before reading this book. It’s a deliciously short and sexy story that gives us a glimpse into Javier and Laura’s no-strings attached weekend in Duboi City. This novella ends with a bang and the story continues in Striking Distance. It may be short but it’s pretty darn good. And it’s only 99 pennies!
Striking Distance opens up with Javier Corbray, a special OPs Navy SEAL, on a mission to capture a terrorist. The mission is going according to plan when he discovers Laura Nilsson, the woman known as the “Baghdad Babe”, and the same woman he had a passionate weekend with in Dubai City, had been held captive the entire time everyone in the world believed she was dead. This prestigious reporter’s life has been forever changed. She’s a survivor who has been broken mentally and physically and has a long, hard road of healing ahead of her.
Two years later, Javier is in on leave after one of his missions went terribly wrong and he was injured. While recuperating, he goes to Colorado to visit his SEAL buddy, Nate West, and his family. Laura, in the meantime, continues to struggle to get her life back together. She works for the I-Team in Denver and is preparing to testify against the terrorist who kidnapped and terrorized her. Javier never truly got over Laura, so when they see each other for the first time, the explosive chemistry that was intense the first time they met is still there simmering under the surface. But Laura is not the same vibrant, passionate woman she once was, though she still very much feels something strong towards Javier as well. When Laura’s life is threatened, Javier, ever the protector, goes to Denver to make sure she’s safe and to act as her bodyguard. What follows is a suspenseful and romantic story as Javier, the FBI, and Zach McBride (U.S. Marshall) investigate to find out who wants Laura dead.
During the time Javier stays with Laura, they are given the opportunity to explore what could’ve been between them before Laura was captured. For eighteen months, Laura had been beaten, raped, and threatened to be beheaded on a daily basis. She was treated like a slave and almost forgot who she was. Her healing journey has been slow. Javier plays a pivotal role in helping her down her path of healing. He is so damn sexy and sultry with his Puerto Rican good looks, big heart, and alpha protectiveness. He becomes Laura own personal hero in every way possible. Javier’s also dealing with his own issues ever since the mission that went bad. These two are very strong, compassionate, and intelligent people who have been broken emotionally and feel vulnerable. Together, they support each other and give the other exactly what’s been missing in their lives.
“I would do anything for you, bella.” – Javier
The romance between these two is beautiful with a perfect slow, sensual build. Considering what Laura has been through, anything too fast would’ve felt unrealistic. I love how Javier takes his time with Laura. Being that Javier is used to being dominant in the bedroom, it was heart-melting to see this potent man let Laura take charge in the bedroom, when she needed to be the one to take instead of being taken from. I felt a magnitude of emotions as Javier and Laura reconnected intimately. When Laura finally finds the courage to give herself to Javier, it was loaded with heat and passion. I think this might be one of the most romantic stories in the I-Team series that Pamela Clare has written to date.
“I was just thinking how lucky I am. The man I’ve held in my heart as my hero for the past two years, the man I’ve for every night – he turned out to be the man I love.” - Laura
Ms. Clare’s stories are always spot on with her deft and smart plotting. I thought the romance aspect to the story was a little bit more of the focus this time around, though the mystery and danger was always prevalent and continued to keep me guessing who the culprit was. The pacing does lull just a bit in the middle of the book, but it doesn’t take long for the pacing to pick back up. And the ending to this story absolutely slayed my heart, it was so incredibly emotional and touching.
Striking Distance is titillating and intense and another great edition to the I-Team series. This is a great series for romantic suspense lovers. These books are intelligent and well-written with smart and sexy characters. Each one of the I-Team books can be read as a stand-alone, but I’ve had a good time reading each of them. One of the things I like the most about this series is how Ms. Clare always brings back previous characters and includes them within the storyline. I was very happy to get page time with Marc, Julian, and Zach. You really don’t want to miss meeting Julian, another utterly sexy alpha hero that will melt your panties.